fbpx Skip to content

Happy New Year! There’s stuff happening in the Watershed!
Announcements and Stakeholders | coal, conservation, parks, and Wood Buffalo | January 2019

Happy 2019 to you all! The Board of Directors and Staff wish you a happy and healthy year ahead. 2018 saw a lot of changes at the Athabasca Watershed Council, which has provided momentum moving forward. Read our end of the year newsletter here for a recap.

We are heading into the new year with our strategic planning and IWMP (Integrated Watershed Management Plan) work. We are looking forward to engaging more stakeholder groups and building the general knowledge of our organization and the watershed itself.

There are a few items happening in the watershed that relate to our work and the concerns of the general public. In the interest of being an information hub, the Athabasca Watershed Council wants to make sure that our membership and concerned audiences are knowledgeable about these issues. We encourage members of the public, stakeholder groups and Indigenous peoples to take the opportunity to learn about and comment on these issues.


Canadian Boreal Forest

BSA Wildland Provincial Park

“… the Government of Alberta is proposing to establish the Biodiversity Stewardship Area to be designated as a wildland provincial park (protected area). The proposed protected area is about 166,110 hectares located directly south of Wood Buffalo National Park. The designation would shift the current multiple-use area with existing forest and energy tenure into an area focused on the conservation of biodiversity.” – BSA Wildland Park website

A large portion of the proposed park is in the Athabasca Watershed and partly adjacent to the river.

The park proposal is open to public comment until January 20, 2019.

BSA Wildland Provincial Park Website and Survey


Wood Buffalo (Bison bison athabascae) in Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada. Photo: Ansgar Walk

Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site Action Plan

“The Government of Canada has led a collaborative effort with the governments of Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, and Indigenous partners to develop this action plan to ensure the ongoing protection and maintenance of the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of Wood Buffalo National Park World Heritage Site.

Alberta’s actions and commitments to better address the OUV of the Wood Buffalo National Park, the Peace Athabasca Delta, and a broader region outside of the Lower Athabasca Region can be found in pages 10 to 15 of the draft action plan.

Next steps include the Government of Canada submitting the final action plan to the World Heritage Committee on February 1, 2019. Alberta will collaborate with government departments/agencies, stakeholders, Indigenous communities and organizations on the implementation of the action plan and Alberta’s key commitments.” – Govt of AB info release.

Draft Action Plan



photo of Athabasca River
Athabasca River Photo: Public Domain

Proposed Approach for Coal Mining Effluent Regulations

The Proposed Approach for Coal Mining Effluent Regulations consultation document was shared with interested parties in November 2017

Approximately 30 written submissions have been received to date from industry, ENGOs, provinces, other government departments and Indigenous organizations and their representatives

The purpose of the presentation is to outline the current thinking on key issues and discuss the next steps.

Download the presentation here

There is an information session via WebEx on the Proposed Coal Mining Effluent Regulations that will take place on Monday, January 7, 2019, from 12 PM – 2 PM EST.

Meeting Information

Topic: Update on Coal Mining Effluent Regulations
Date: Monday, January 7, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time
Meeting Number: 557 606 507
Meeting Password: Jan2019

To join the online meeting
1. Go to https://gts-ee-fr.webex.com/gts-ee/j.php?MTID=mab7d9d7a32aceef860bc08db67ad96d6
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. If a password is required, enter the meeting password: Jan2019
4. Click “Join”.

To join the teleconference only
Provide your phone number when you join the meeting to receive a call back. Alternatively, you can call:
Call-in toll-free number: 1-877-413-4791  (Canada)
Call-in number: 1-613-960-7515  (Canada)
Attendee access code: 643 162 5

For assistance
1. Go to https://gts-ee-fr.webex.com/gts-ee/mc
2. On the left navigation bar, click “Support”.
3. Call 1-800-226-6338 or 613-941-9554

Written feedback on the proposed approach would be greatly appreciated before January 31, 2019 (at ec.ermc-cmrd.ec@canada.ca).